Thursday, May 18, 2006

MyLibrary in MySpace?

Earlier this week at MPOW, we were talking about WorldCat. We tried to think of all the various ways we could get the word out to a broader "general public" audience about the richness of library resources in WorldCat. 65 million records, after all.

And what came out was MySpace. Now I know that Wired has labeled it Tired already (and possibly dangerous for young teens), but another colleague just sent me a Chronicle article (reg required) on how the CUNY Brooklyn College uses MySpace and has attracted 1700 friends. 1700! (I couldn't find it in a quick 3-minute sniff session, but I did find Georgia Tech Library.

We've been talking a lot lately about being where your users are--instead of the traditional approach of trying to attract users to you. MySpace seems to embody this 2.0-ness.

Is your library in MySpace?
*If yes, did you get a lot of approvals beforehand, or did you just *do it?* (Ask for forgiveness, not permission.)
*If no (and consciously no), why did you decide not to be there? Is it not befitting of a prestigious academic library, etc?
I'm just curious what the zeitgeist is, on libraries in MySpace...

6 comments:

stevenb said...

I don't have a problem with libraries creating profiles in social communities, though, as I've said before why are we trying to integrate an academic function into a socialization environment. Is that what students want? I think it's misleading to be impressed that the library has 1700 friends. If you take a closer look at libraries with profiles on FaceBook, it's pretty clear that many students are becoming the a friend of the library as, I guess the best way to word it is "as a joke" - based on the comments and the photos posted. The real question is how is the profile working to get those 1700 friends to have better connections with the library and librarians. There's certainly no harm in putting profiles of the library in social spaces, but if it really isn't contributing to learning outcomes for students, is it really worth the effort. If we really want to make friends with our user communities, what about meeting them in physical, rather than virtual, spaces?

Bill Drew said...

I was interviewed for background for the Chronicle article. Our library has been on MySpace and Facebook since January. You can find my psotings about MySpace and Facebook via Del.icio.us tags at:

http://del.icio.us/babyboomerlibrarian/facebook

http://del.icio.us/babyboomerlibrarian/myspace

walt said...

"And what came out was MySpace. Now I know that Wired has labeled it Tired already"

Which, since it's still around, might be a sign that it's a meaningful new thing instead of a fad. MySpace should wear Wired's tired label with pride. (No, the lower-case "t" isn't sloppy typing. It's exactly what I mean.)

David said...

Then again you have legislation moving in the congress that would sharply limit if not ban sites like MySpace from schools and libraries alike http://news.com.com/2100-1028_3-6071040.html

Anonymous said...

"(Ask for forgiveness, not permission.)" If you can afford the consequences, no matter what they are.

Alice said...

Thanks all, for your insightful (if ominous, mr. anonymous) comments.
I saw that our own NetLibrary has a profile in MySpace. I don't think it has done a whole lot for the brand--positive or negative.

So my take away from this discussion is that MySpace is probably like a lot of things in Webworld: if you decide to do it, do it but then be prepared to keep doing it.

It is yet another way to be in user's virtual spaces--but we must also be conscious of the larger implications of being there (aka congressional legislation)...